The Coq Gaulois versus the Bald Eagle
When talking about healthcare systems there are a few factors that we should consider essential in defining the experience; Personal payment, choice of doctor and freedom of practice
American and French healthcare systems share to some degree a few fundamental principles like giving patients the freedom to choose their physician, and although the expenditures are different, both systems have a plan where employers and employees pay towards the cost.
But from a different angle those two systems are radically and fundamentally different from each other, with the French being a non-profit, multi-payer system and the American, a corporate healthcare industry. French workers and their employers pay for the bulk of their medical care through premiums assigned based on gross wages with employers contributing 13% and workers 7%. Hospitals and medical practices are private entities that can be either for-profit or non-profit with the non-profit side having regulated sickness funds to collect payments under a negotiated fee structure. 75% of these payments comes from mandatory payroll contributions from employers and employees and the other 25% comes from the patients, the government and supplemental insurance. This option leaves the country with 99% coverage, ranking at number 1 by WHO standards.
A simple comparison to the US system is difficult considering the multitude of insurance plans with variable premiums and the wide array of coverage depending on company size and other factors. Different from the French system, American employers do not buy insurance based on a percentage system and the money does not flow into a few National Health insurance funds, rather...
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5- The Health Care System Under French National Health Insurance: Lessons for Health Reform in the United States. Victor G. Rodwin, PhD, MPH
6- Health care in France and The United States: Learning from each other. Paul V. Dutton, Associate Professor of European History, Northern Arizona University Research Fellow, HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
7- Health care options at a glance by Sarah van Gelder and Doug Pibel. August 2006
8- Ranking 37th — Measuring the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System. Christopher J.L. Murray, M.D., D.Phil., and Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
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